When you have someone that flew in from Hawaii just to see a band standing to your left, and someone visiting from San Francisco there for the same reason to your right, you know you’re in for something special. That was the case Saturday at the sold out Lincoln Hall, where the Temper Trap was in town for the second straight night.
Chicago’s very own Empires had the daunting task of performing for an audience whose anticipation for the main act was growing. They handled the pressure with ease. Empires came out on stage and from the start made it clear they would be doing their own thing, playing great rock music, and would treat it as if this was their headlining show. Singer Sean Van Vleet’s gritty vocals blended with the raucous melodies perfectly and the band showed why Rolling Stone called them a band with “a big, multifaceted, tower-of-power sound.” Vleet’s passionate cry’s were showcased on one of their new songs Can’t Steal Your Heart Away, where he shined through the dark sound of the rest of the sound. They play rock music, and they’re a great rock band. They don’t give you the electronically enhanced music, they stay true to their rock roots. I was really impressed with Empires, and I hope to see them again soon.
Check out more pictures of Empires from their show at Lincoln Hall in the gallery below!
After being warmed up by Empires, the sold out Lincoln Hall crowd exploded when the Temper Trap hit the stage. They started with two new songs off their upcoming self titled album, Repeater (aka London’s Burning) and Need Your Love. Need Your Love was tremendous live, as lead singer Dougy Mandagi’s pitch perfect voice highlighted the synth friendly melody. The song was like the 80’s meeting present day, catchy and uplifting. Mandagi acts as the bands liaison to the audience, and he does just that in a very charming way. Talking about how good it felt to be back in Chicago, and how overwhelmed he was that the band was able to sell out back to back nights, he joked with the crowd while bringing them his patented intense, passionate, yet cheery voice. Lincoln Hall really played to the advantage of the band as well, as its size let the fans connect and dance with the band in a way a place like the Rosemont Arena would not.
Midway through their set as the intro to Resurrection played and Mandagi slowly twisted as he slapped his tambourine, the audience was witnessing the Temper Trap in their truest form. The trip-hop tinged build up was moving along and the members seemed to put more and more into every note and every line as they prepared for the anthemic breakdown at the end. The intensity of the breakdown carried over to their dark jam song, Drum Song, as Jonathon Aherne (bassist), Toby Dundas (drummer), Lorenzo Sillitto (lead guitarist), and Joseph Greer (guitar and keyboardist) took the spotlight and sent thunder through the audience. The sweet disposition of the band was a sight to see Saturday night (see what I did there?), and the sky is truly the limit for the Aussie indie rock band. Check out the full set list and more photos below.
Set List: Repeater (London’s Burning)
Need Your Love
Science of Fear
Encore: I’m Gonna Wait